Solidarity & Resistance

Home 1920s: Deskaheh 1990: Oka Crisis Present: Kanonhstaton Final Thoughts Resources Comments/Discussion News

1990: Oka Crisis


In 1990, Mohawks on the Kanesatake reserve protested the extension of a golf course onto reserve land, which would destroy both the cemetery and a one hundred year old reforestation project. In July, a group of Mohawk protesters set up barricades, and later began occupying the land under dispute. Relatives from the Kahnawake reserve joined to assist Kanesatake in their resistance. Some were armed, though weapons were only to be used if the Surete du Quebec first opened fire. Surete du Quebec (the Quebec police) were later replaced by the RCMP, who were then replaced by the Canadian military.

When the Quebec police and the Canadian military laid siege, one soldier was killed and 41 Mohawks arrested. The Oka siege led to international denunciations of the Canadian government, which Kehoe suggests ultimately strengthened Iroquois claims to sovereignty.

Source: Kehoe, 2006


Below: Pte. Patrick Cloutier, a perimeter sentry, and Mohawk Warrior Brad "Freddy Krueger" Larocque face off. Canadian Press photograph by Shaney Komulainen during Oka crisis Quebec, September 1, 1990

Above: Woman and child. (from I included this photo to show that the occupation at Oka involved the entire community, not just threatening-looking warriors in camoflauge and bandanas.

Above: Cover of New Socialist Magazine, Sept-Oct 2006. Special issue on indigenous resurgence.

Above: Indigenous women leading the struggle.  Art by Tania Willard, Secwepemc Nation.  In New Socialist Sept-Oct 2006, p 25.

Map showing the location of Kanesatake (Oka).  Accessed from